No, no, no, no, no. I knew this was coming but I didn’t think FOX would order scripts of it already. The bad news: an American version of Gavin & Stacey is looming in our future. Fortunately, James Corden and Ruth Jones and some of the show’s former EPs will be involved in the show. More importantly, they are helping to write the first scripts.
However, I still have many hesitations. First, I hate it when American television remakes the British versions. Many of them fail. I still don’t watch the American version of The Office as it just doesn’t make me laugh.
Second, the cast for the Gavin & Stacey was fantastic. Rob Brydon as Bryn was naïve but knowledgeable about the most random topics. Which made the jokes very cringeworthy but in a hilarious way. He’s a difficult character to explain on paper. Yes, I liked Gavin (Matthew Horne) and Stacey (Joanna Page) because they were sweet but they were the “normal” couple that the show focuses on. Rather, it’s because of them and their relationship which brings together this wacky bunch.
Most brilliantly, there was Gavin and Stacey’s best friends, Smithy (James Corden) and Nessa (Ruth Jones). The two had such great chemistry with each other and some awesome comic timing. Perhaps it’s because they both created and wrote the show together so there was that friendship there off screen.
Third, the whole thing about Gavin and Stacey was that they were from two different countries. Of course, the Welsh culture seemed to outdo the English one but the clash of cultures was vital to the show. What are they going to do in the American version? North vs. South? East Coast vs. West Coast? City vs. Hicksville? Or they could also do US vs Canada.
I think out of all these choices, northern city guy falls in love with a southern belle might bring the most cultural differences. Oooh, if she were an African American southern belle that might be even better. But how much do Corden and Jones understand the American culture?
Obviously, it just won’t be the same as the original and you can’t expect that but there was something about that show that was special. I just don’t want us Americans to tarnish it. What’s enlightening was when I watched Exporting Raymond this summer. It’s a documentary following Everybody Loves Raymond creator, Philip Rosenthal, as he tries to bring that show to Russia. Although the end of the documentary does say the show became a success there, there were many difficulties he faced as he tried to understand the Russian culture and tried to get the Russian producers to understand what made the original show so funny. Despite the fact that we kinda speak the same language, British humour just isn’t the same as American humor. I just don’t think it’s helpful to bring this well-known format here just for the sake of making an American version of it.